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The ‘Kindness Cup’

by Roslyn Duffy
November/December 2010
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/the-kindness-cup/5019690/

Situation

"Melanie grabbed the cookie I was going to take!"

"Ben tripped me!"
"It was an accident. He fell over my foot."

"Suvarna colored on my picture! She ruined it!"

"I was in line first. Hilary pushed me and took my place!"
"Did not!"

Solution

Only obvious from the outside

Everyone can probably add to this litany of complaints heard daily in homes or classrooms. One person might try to sort out what happened and who is in the wrong — meting out reminders, timeouts, or lost privileges as consequences. Another might demonstrate problem solving, walking combatants through a step-by-step process. Whatever our response — most of us get plenty of opportunities to try them. This is not surprising since research tells us that maybe clash at the rate of 3˝ times per hour. Some might ask, "Is that all?"

Young children lack needed skills, such as sharing (which, for siblings, is reported as a top cause of fighting), faulty communication skills (tough to "Use your words" when one knows so few); or a lack of cooperative play techniques ("Are there others besides me to consider?"). Much time in these early years involves demonstrating, coaching, and practicing these needed social skills. But underlying many interactions is another ...

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